On Sunday, March 4, 2012, Sunday of Orthodoxy, His Eminence Metropolitan Nektarios celebrated the Divine Liturgy and the procession of the Holy Icons at the Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Luke in Hong Kong.
Metropolitan Nektarios in his sermon referred to the meaning of the celebration of the Triumph of Orthodoxy. The real triumph and victory is Christ. He is the only one who resurrected from the dead and He is present in every celebration of the Divine Liturgy. All the faithful participate in that victory of Christ and the struggle of the Holy Fathers was to preserve the faith (the victory of Christ) clear as the Holy Apostles passed it on us. On that faith we cannot add anything. We cannot add our beliefs, thoughts or opinions. We are called to follow Christ. Heresy means choice/ I am free to choose, to make a choice. When I am following Christ I am not free to add or to subtract in His teaching. If I make the choice to add my own opinion then I don’t follow Christ but my egotistical will. And that is the problem of the heretics. They insist in their opinion and their interpretation of the faith and they don’t want to be humble and to follow Christ.
The calling of the Church is the words of Apostle Phillip: Come and See. And if someone comes into the Church he has to accept the faith of the Church and to follow Christ. We know that we are weak and sinners but we have to struggle to live the faith and also to preserve it. And that is the main point of the celebration of the Sunday of Orthodoxy.
The Sunday of Orthodoxy is the first Sunday of Great Lent. The dominant theme of this Sunday since 843 has been that of the victory of the icons. In that year the iconoclastic controversy, which had raged on and off since 726, was finally laid to rest, and icons and their veneration were restored on the first Sunday in Lent. Ever since, this Sunday has been commemorated as the “Triumph of Orthodoxy”.